Information

Questions relating to unvaccinated and vaccinated people: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002


Information requested

These questions refer to not only the Scottish Governments own plans and acts but the coronavirus Act.

1. Have there been any intimations, discussions or plans surrounding the detainment of unvaccinated people?

2.Have there been any intimations, discussions or plans for unvaccinated people to be segregated from the vaccinated people out with their own homes?

3. What intimations, discussions or plans have been made, going forward, concerning people who will not accept a vaccine?

4.Have there been any intimations, discussions or plans to mandate vaccines for everyone?

5.The vaccine doesn't stop transmission therefore, the vaccine passports do not stop the spread of the virus. Why is natural immunity not being considered?

6. What % of people are needed to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity?

7.Since the roll out of the vaccine, how many hospitalisations with a positive test are vaccinated people (single, double or triple)

8. Since the roll out of the vaccine, how many hospitalisations with a positive test are unvaccinated people?

9.There are other proven preventative medicines for coronavirus, why are these not being promoted?

Response

1/2. Whilst we strongly encourage those eligible to receive coronavirus vaccination to do so, the decision is one of personal choice and the Scottish Government has no current plans to introduce mandatory vaccination or to impose any penalties.

3. Our primary focus remains on protecting as many people as possible through the accelerated COVID-19 and COVID-19 booster campaign. Vaccinations are continuing to be offered in order of priority and descending age cohorts to ensure that the most vulnerable and at risk are protected first. The Scottish Government regularly publishes it’s Vaccination Strategy approach to the covid-19 vaccine, which sets out our process in more detail: Scotland's autumn/winter vaccination strategy 2021: December update - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

4. In addition to our previous comments regarding receiving the COVID-19 vaccine being a personal choice, on the recommendation of the Joint Committee Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI), vaccinations for residents in care homes, for older adults, their carer’s and frontline health, and social care workers will continue to be prioritised. In this regard, we currently have no plans to make vaccinations mandatory for health and social care staff as its clear that these caring staff in Scotland are overwhelmingly making the choice to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their residents.

5. Under Section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

It may be helpful for you to consider the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine certification: evidence paper, which sets out the aims of the COVID-19 vaccination certification scheme in Scotland. I have included information from the guidance below for your convenience.

A key objective of the vaccine certification scheme is to encourage vaccine take-up. You may wish to review Section 6 of the evidence paper which provides an analysis of public attitudes and societal impacts of vaccination.

The current COVID-19 vaccination certification scheme in Scotland aims to

  • Reduce the risk of transmission;
  • Reduce the risk of serious illness and death and in doing so alleviate current and future pressure on the healthcare system;
  • Allow higher risk settings to continue to operate as an alternative to closure or more restrictive
    measures; and
  • Increase vaccine uptake.

While we do not know at the moment the full effect existing vaccines can have on reducing transmission of the Omicron variant, early data suggest that booster doses with existing vaccines provide substantial additional protection against the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant compared to protection afforded 6 months following a primary course of vaccinations alone.

Vaccination has played a significant part in reducing case numbers and ensuring the very high case numbers in recent months haven’t resulted in same number of deaths or hospitalisations as in previous waves.

6. The percentage of people needed to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity is dependent on a range of factors. In the current case of the Omicron variant many of these factors are currently unknown such as naturally acquired immunity, vaccination efficacy, recipient hesitancy, waning immunity, variant emergence and its underlying basic reproductive rate. As of yet, we do not have this percentage.

7. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because the Scottish government is not responsible for publishing this data. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested under point 7.

However, you may wish to contact PHS, who may be able to help you using the contact form at: https://publichealthscotland.scot/contact-us/general-enquiries/your-general-enquiry/

While I cannot provide an answer, below is the link to information that may be of interest to you published by PHS. They regularly publish data on acute hospital admissions by vaccine status (unvaccinated, 1 dose and two or more doses) in their weekly statistical report. You can read the latest report, published on 15 December 2021, here: https://publichealthscotland.scot/media/10853/21-12-15-covid19-winter_publication_report.pdf

On average, unvaccinated individuals are younger than individuals with two or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Older individuals are more likely to be hospitalised than younger individuals.

Please note that PHS is responsible for this data. Therefore, for further information on this, please contact PHS directly using the link provided above.

8. Under Section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

With reference to PHS and the COVID-19 Statistical report, this provides information on acute hospital submissions by vaccine status. From 01 September 2020 to 10 December, there were a total of 31,821 acute admissions associated with a COVID-19 PCR positive test 14 days prior, on admission, the day after admission or during their stay. You may wish to view pages 49 to 55 of the report, which offer in depth summary of the latest figures. Please note that the report does not give a total but provides a 4 weekly snapshot.

9. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK agency responsible for the approval of clinical trials in the UK and of marketing authorisations (licences) for new medicinal products. The MHRA together with independent advisory groups, continues to review the emerging body of evidence regarding potential medicines for treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

Clinicians may prescribe unlicensed medicines if, in their clinical judgement, there is no suitable licensed available alternative that is capable of meeting their individual patient needs.

One consideration is Ivermectin; the WHO issued a Guidance Note advising that Ivermectin is only to be used to treat COVID-19 within clinical trials. In addition, the FDA and the EMA do not currently approve the use of Ivermectin for use in the treatment or prevention COVID-19 in humans. There is currently a clinical trial with Ivermectin ongoing in the UK and results are awaited. For Ivermectin to be granted a marketing authorisation, an application must be submitted to the MHRA for review. A marketing authorisation for an Ivermectin-containing medicine would only be issued based on robust data to show a positive risk benefit for the quality, safety and efficacy of the product.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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